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2020 BSA Annual Report

Wow…only 474,403 boys and girls ages 11 to 17 in Scouts BSA .

I sure hope those numbers go up.

798,516 in 2019. So, about half.

I think that reflects the loss of LDS youth among other trends.

Getting the Cub Scout numbers up is important to increasing the BSA Ranks. It’s easier to keep a Cub in the program than it is to recruit 10-17 year old boys/girls to join the Boy Scouts.

I also feel it’s only a matter of time before units will be giving to choice to offer a co-ed Troop.


Several troops I know of lost about 10% of their scouts at this last recharter as a result of Covid. I also know of a couple smaller troops that completely folded. Hopefully the numbers start recovering as Covid subsides.

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@DaveBoring - yes certainly that has had a tremendous effect on things. We can all hope for better numbers.

There’s certainly some truth in that. I hope troops are doing their part to help the pack retain scouts by contributing Den Chiefs to support Webelos dens and working with Webelos leaders to make the Webelos program different than the rest of cub scouting. It’s supposed to be a transition to SBSA, but all too often it just feels like more of the same. Adult leaders from the troop can and should coach Webelos leaders on how to take those steps in the right direction.

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Absolutely spot on. You practically took the words out of my mouth.

It’s up to the Webelos den leader to become active in troop, to get the Webelos working as a patrol, to let them start leading themselves, taking decisions.

It’s not only preparing the Scouts for the youth-led troop life but just as important, their families as well.

We did something a little different with our feeder Pack. Normally, we would send a Den Chief over, do a joint camp out and they show up for a few Troop meetings and crossover…

This year, we reached out very early (August as I recall) to the Web 2 Den Leaders and offered to have our Troop use some of our meetings to teach them the final AOL requirements. The Den Leaders totally embraced the idea and our Troop taught them their final 2 Adventures which took several meetings. The SPL and his team really took ownership because it gave them quality material for Troop Meetings. The Scouts from the Troop did the great majority of the teaching which allowed our Adult Leaders to really get to know the parents and Den Leaders to show them how a Boy Scout Troop operates. We had to reel the Den Leaders and parents back a few times from being “too helpful” as I’m sure many of you have dealt with. The Webelos 2 Scouts were extremely receptive to older boys teaching them rather and adults. There is something to say about a positive peer group.

From November until the first week of March when we crossed them over we had several joint meetings and a good camping event which really help the assimilation. We didn’t do much in December with Christmas break. Our Scouts also benefitted from earn their EDGE requirements and really took ownership as leaders of these new Scouts.

What I also discovered is that Den Leaders (and Parents) that have little to no knowledge of how the Boy Scout side operates does not get enough information from the Webelos Handbook to understand how to properly prepare their Dens for crossover.

I guess the lengthy point I am offering is getting engaged with the Webelos 2 as early as possible, which includes engaging the Den Leaders and parents, had a really solid impact on how many crossed over. They had a few that were on the verge of dropping out and really liked being with the “big boys” and is staying so far and having a good time.

Recruiting the adults may be a bigger sales job than they Scouts. They are the ones that bring them to meetings and we need them all in.


@WilliamC I think that is awesome and exactly what I had in mind. Although, I would suggest starting something the instant they become webelos. That’s a key retention point in my mind.

I agree that early involvement can yield great benefits. I had the advantage of having been through the then-Boy Scout program myself as a youth, so I “knew” what the bridging Webelos were getting into, and supported them in ever-increasing levels of responsibility. I recruited our den chief, who at the time was either First Class or Star, to model Boy Scouting through things like teaching and reinforcing the patrol method.

Our den chief (later SPL then Eagle before ageing-out) did an incredible job of teaching the Webelos their “Boy Scout skills”, and pretty much owned the Scouting Adventure phase. The two patrols in my Webelos 2 den (I had 13 scouts) elected to schedule a hike with the troop. They chose the area and the route, with some guidance from me and their den chief. I believe that a lot of their success (most of them are still active in the troop several years later) is down to those formative interactions with the troop, both through their den chief and on that hike they planned.

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We invite 1st year WEBELOS to attend (day only) 2 of the troops trips per year - a Thanksgiving in the Woods event, and then one of the winter events (such as Klondike, to come “cheer on the troop”). 2nd Year WEBELOS are invited to come up for one night (with a parent) on those 2 trips.

For 2nd year WEBELOS, we also run a program that is taught by some of our troop’s youth members, under the guidance of an adult leader, with the goal of completing (2) of the AOL required adventures:


It has been working well for the past few years. For the 5th graders that participate in this initiative, we have had had 100% of them crossover (not all stay after the first year in the troop, but at least we get them there to experience it and make a decision for themselves.

Our local packs seem to have a large drop-out rate that happens between Bear and 1st year WEBELOS, which we haven’t yet figured out how to help in regards to troop assistance beyond providing den chiefs.


The Treasurers report has not been released yet.

The bankruptcy case costing about $10 million a month. She added the cost will only increase if litigation between attorneys for abuse victims and BSA insurers continues to escalate.

The bankruptcy case has been bogged down by disputes over the provision of information by local Boy Scouts councils about their financial assets, claims by the BSA that hundreds of millions of dollars worth of its assets are restricted and unavailable to abuse victims, and concerns by BSA insurers that attorneys for abuse victims have submitted tens of thousands of claims without ensuring their validity.

Philip Anker, an attorney for some BSA insurers, noted that the organization faced 275 filed abuse claims before seeking bankruptcy protection and is now facing more than 80,000 abuse claims.

Wow…only 649,248 boys and girls ages 5 to 10 in Cub Scouting
versus 1,176,119 Cub Scouts in 2019

I think that reflects the effect of the CCP virus lock downs of charter organizations and council facilities and the high registration fees charged to the unemployed families at Christmas time.

Continuing to claim registration losses due to the Church of LDS is ignoring what is true. One must look at the root cause which were the decisions of national (and we know what they were) that precipitated the LDS, the Baptist churches, other churches, and veteran organizations to abandon the BSA and to start up their own youth programs like TLUSA or drop the program all together.

And of course the news of bankruptcy and 80,000 child abuse cases did more harm then you might think.

But the more sinister reason is the CCP Wolf warrior strategy targeted the BSA pseudo-military youth program, giving related BSA news wider audience than it deserved which is hindering recruitment into the armed services.

The CCP virus.

Well then.

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Good post. The BSA has one “Whole Page” dedicate to transitioning on their easy to navigate Website:

Webelos-to-Scouts Transition | Boy Scouts of America.

There are some really good tips but this is something the should be pushed more aggressively rather than some points on a webpage. This should be an ongoing emphasis.

Interesting. Our experience has been the opposite of what many here are saying. Our pack has been way more active than our “feeder troop”. We pushed the limits of what’s been allowed by local and state authorities. We’ve had hikes, a water bottle rocket launch, a pinewood derby, and a Webelos campfire, all outdoors, with masks, physical distancing, and with dens separated into cohorts. The troop at our CO has had only a few hikes and nothing more. They haven’t even had any in-person patrol meetings, only online ones. Boring! My two den chiefs have had more fun and engagement at our events than they’ve had at their own.

While a scout is Obedient, a scout is also Brave. Unfortunately, I’ve seen the Brave part chucked out the window for many units that have gone overboard with caution. For high-risk households, it was completely understandable that they preferred online meetings over in-person ones. For those families, we continued to have zoom den meetings every two weeks. But we did not cancel all in-person events for their sake. We had the events, completed requirements in-person, all-the-while emailing updates to the stay-at-home families and letting them know how to complete requirements at home.

Besides the reasons that caused the LDS to depart, I attribute much of the shrinkage to state and local governments that forbade small group from gatherings outdoors, even with masks and physical distancing. There was never any evidence that indicated small outdoor gatherings of children (with masks and distancing) were significant sources of spreading coronavirus. Yet, during the lockdowns, some children were allowed to go to child care and day camps – indoors. Can anyone explain how a day camp cohort and a Wolf den cohort are so different? We had months when we couldn’t meet in person, at all.

Scouting is largely a program spent outdoors with others. Many families simply weren’t interested in online virtual scouting. Our den definitely lost one scout because he didn’t do Zoom.

Fortunately, I’m a gamer and quite tech savvy, so I was able to make our online meetings interesting and fun. But many den leaders didn’t want to or know how to run an engaging virtual program. I’ve heard of entire packs going dark during coronavirus, and not renewing their charters. Had they been able (and willing) to do pack meetings, den meetings, and other activities outdoors, I believe the numbers would not have been as bad.

Good on you mate!

Fear of insurance claims against Scouts BSA and fear of being called out by the state and local governments! And now it is the federal government chastising states for removing restrictions contrary to its guidance.

I didn’t stay inside during that time. I put in nearly 50 miles of hiking. The key to fight the virus is to get outside in the open fresh air, in the sunshine, get plenty of exercise and take immune boosting vitamins and minerals Zinc and D. I recommend abandoning the cities for rural sunshine climes.

All things considered, billions of people have stayed safe without taking any of this.

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Billions of people have been in lock down.

Let us not exaggerate and focus on the US.

UChicago Medicine researchers find association between vitamin deficiency, risk of infection

94.3% of the US population do not meet the daily requirement for vitamin D, 88.5% for vitamin E, 52.2% for magnesium, 44.1% for calcium, 43.0% for vitamin A, and 38.9% for vitamin C. For the nutrients in which a requirement has not been set, 100% of the population had intakes lower than the AI for potassium, 91.7% for choline, and 66.9% for vitamin K. The prevalence of inadequacies was low for all of the B vitamins and several minerals, including copper, iron, phosphorus, selenium, sodium, and zinc (see Table 1 ). Moreover, more than 97% of the population had excessive intakes of sodium, defined as daily intakes greater than the age-specific UL [(26)]